In an effort to highlight the young leaders who are leading undergraduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.’s Upsilon Chapter at UCLA and did an interview with Onyebuchi Kosi Ogbuli the Polemarch/president of the chapter.
The position of president of an undergraduate chapter of a Black fraternity is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. 21-year-old Ogbuli has used the position to gain new leadership experience, improve the lives of other students on campus and help the community around him.
We interviewed the Global Health & International Relations major and talked about his position, goals, future and what it means to hold a leadership on campus in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
To be a chapter president is a very special honor and privilege. To be trusted by my fellow active brothers to take on the mantle as well as being entrusted by those before us to take our chapter into the next page of its illustrious history is something that constantly humbles me and gives me the motivation to do my absolute best in the role. As I step into this role, I see being a chapter president as you being the pulse of your chapter. You set the tone, pace, and standard of how we present ourselves as a collective and as individuals. I also see myself as being not solely a leader, but a source of wisdom and inspiration for my brothers as well as all those I interact with serving as Polemarch.
What made you decide to attend the UCLA for undergrad?
Attending UCLA was a challenge to myself as much as it was a choice. I wanted to attend a world-class institution that gave me the platform and access to explore my ambitions and potential in avenues beyond the classroom. UCLA is the #1 public university in the world with a global community to match. Couple that with the history, activism, and culture within and around Los Angeles there isn’t anywhere else quite like UCLA.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?
As a chapter we are focusing on awareness and advocacy initiatives around issues in our communities that are not paid attention to. We have a black mental health series that will be panels, discussions, and intervention development focused on improving and bringing to light the mental health issues in our community. We also will be having a financial literacy series to discuss aspects of one’s journey to financial independence from any starting point in life. Lastly’ we will be bringing back our Black love open discussions to offer a critical and productive platform to breakdown and define for ourselves black love and navigating relationships in 2019/2020. These series coupled with community service, and co-programming with various other organizations doing great work in our community is our foundation to improve our community by creating the connections and understanding needed for us to be both self-sufficient and collectively supportive and progressive.
What made you want to pledge Kappa Alpha Psi?
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated is an organization of men who represent a legacy of world-changers and difference makers. Kappa challenged me to be more than simply a student, simply a community member but a leader dynamic in both action and statements. Kappa not only changed my life but gave me access to a world both literally and figuratively that through Kappa I am taught the means to change for the better.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
The Upsilon Chapter is the founding chapter of the Western Province of Kappa Alpha Psi. Chartered at UCLA on April 25th, 1923 for 96 years the Upsilon chapter has a legacy unique in both achievements and notable brothers. From Arthur Ashe to Johnny Cochran, I am privileged to be a part of a chapter that holds itself to the highest of standards in life as well as the difference we make in the lives of others. Uniqueness is in itself what makes my chapter so unique. It is the assembly of unique people with unique interests all excelling at the highest levels of academia and professional life that has our chapter in the annals of history in Kappa and around the world.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think undergraduate chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2019?
That’s simple. We need to focus on the WORK and represent that work online. We also need to utilize this online network to be catalysts for the change we want to see, not just for views and likes. I mean just think of how we can consolidate the connections, peoples, and resources even us as a Greek community can make shockwaves around the world. So let’s use social media and our greater digital network to connect and WORK.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership to me is also simple. It’s the patience and understanding for me to be the best supporter I can be of those around me and the best mediator and delegator for those around me. The speed of the leader determines the speed of the pack but my tone, my patience, my focus and understanding of what needs to be done and the people and situations around me are all aspects of leadership I hope to exercise well each and every day.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
You all serve as a bridge on so many levels. You all bridge generations, thoughts, interests, and the letters we all wear and share. I believe Black Greekdom is turning the page to a new chapter and we have a chance to write the most beautiful one yet. I’m happy to know you all have been able to keep the pulse of Black Greekdom and also create a platform by which we can continue to uplift each other.
What does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood to me means being family. It means protecting, empowering, motivation, loving, laughing, and moving forward with my brothers in this story called life.
What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After graduation I aim to pursue the first of 2 masters. One dealing with global health systems and the other in urban public health or healthcare management. I intend to go abroad to continue in both the service projects and research on health systems development I have been able to begin this past year. I also will be continuing research on the cognitive effects of racism on young black men in college. Along with applying to internships in the global health sector, I intend to be in a post-doctoral program concerning global health in the next 5 years.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Onyebuchi Kosi Ogbuli for his work as the president of Upsilon Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to 1923.
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